SAR team members have to carry a lot of gear. The New Mexico “Field Guide” requires us to carry food, clothing, water and a variety of tools like compass, ropes and more. Sometimes a product comes along that combines a number of things into one nice package and this “Emergency Radio” truly fits the bill.
By Michaela Merz, ChCSAR 22:
This unit costs less than $30. You can pick it up at Amazon (I have no affiliation with Amazon or the manufacturer or seller). But I think its a cool and helpful device and that’s why I am writing about it. This unit is a radio. And a flash light. And a siren. And a MP3 player. And it can charge your phone. And you can listen to NOAA radio.
That’s not all. It has an internal battery that can be charged with a regular 5V power supply. Or with in inbuilt solar cell. Or with a hand crank. Though the last two options may need a while and may not even be practical in a real world situation. That is why I especially like the next mode of operation: If your internal battery runs empty, you can simply flip a switch and draw juice from 3 triple A batteries.
Since I carry a number of AAA batteries anyway (for the flash light and head lamps) I can be sure that my radio will always be ready to go.
The unit is about 6 inches long and 2 inches deep. It weighs around a pound. But this is an additional pound of gear I am happy to carry around.
Here’s what I found out:
I tested all functions and they work ok. Well .. I didn’t seriously try to hand-crank charge the battery. The sound is not bad for a small unit. The MP3 player requires an SD card to play the MP3s from. It sometimes stutters a bit, but only in the beginning. So that doesn’t bother me a lot. It charges the phone in “slow mode” only, but hey .. it charges the phone. My radio didn’t come with NOAA mode, I have already complained to the seller.
All in all this is truly a universal all-in-one unit that not only provides information and entertainment on lonely overnight excursions, it also comes in handy as an emergency charger or flash light.
Not bad for a radio/mp3 player/charger for below $30 .